In Kenya, there’s growing concern among media and human rights groups over the latest comments by the country’s security minister. Minister John Michuki has warned there could be another police raid on local media, similar to the March 2nd raid against The Standard Group. He cited security reasons, and police have accused the journalists of taking bribes to write false stories.
Mikewa Ogada is program officer in charge of research for the Kenya Human Rights Commission. From Nairobi, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about another the threat of another crackdown on the media.
“Our main concern is that those threats that he’s issuing, those are threats against press freedom. We are worried that this might roll back the gains we’ve made in this country…. Suddenly, in a more democratic disposition, this is being reversed. We’re very, very worried about that,” he says. The human rights official says it goes against the role of a government: “A government is there to provide security, not to act in ways that promote insecurity by raiding or attacking institutions. I think there are more civilized ways to deal with the media or any other institution or individual.”
Michuki is quoted as saying, “I have no apologies to make on the destruction that the government meted out on The Standard Group.”
Ogada reacts to that statement by saying, “It’s unfortunate. I regret that somebody who’s considered a leader, who considers himself a leader, would speak in that way. Clearly he has apologies to make.”
Ogada says Michuki should not only apologize, but resign. And he calls upon the government to return any property it took from The Standard Group.